Jobs After Jail

It is understandable that entering the workforce after serving time can seem daunting. But you should not let your past dissuade your present. What do we mean by that? Even though you are re-entering the workforce after prison, there are still a number of jobs available to you. The key to finding the right jobs after jail is to make a great first impression. We are sharing how to do exactly that below…

Be Who You Are

When applying for jobs after jail, at some point your conviction will come. That is why it is important, to be honest from the start. Lying on your resume about your time in jail can significantly impact your opportunity to get a role. While we do not advise providing every exact detail, you should prepare yourself for disclosing any criminal history. How do you do this? First off, keep things simple. When you are informing a recruiter of your time behind bars, only state the facts that would be available to them with a background check. They do not need to know who your lawyer was, whether or not you pleaded guilty, or any other unnecessary facts. The same can be said about your interview answers. Stay positive and answer what you are asked. Focus on your career goals, interest in the role, and maintain good eye contact. These factors will help showcase who you are.

Find the Right Role

There are a number of companies that specifically offer job roles to the formerly incarcerated. When searching for the right jobs after jail, seek out opportunities that have an understanding of reentering the workforce after jail. You can do this through available resources like specialized recruiters or job agencies. Whether it is a company that solely recruits former convicts or one that utilizes the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, there are suitable roles waiting for you. The other reason you want to seek out a role that is specifically suited to you is because you dont want to be in a role that is not. When focusing on the skills you have, you will be able to establish what job opportunities you should and should not pursue. 

Revamp and Renew Your Resume

It is important that after serving time, no matter how long it has been, that you renew your resume. When applying for jobs after jail, this is a necessary first step. Even those that have not served time, are suggested to update their resume at least once a year. There are a number of template resources and resume tips, that will help you identify what resume style is best for you. When you show up for a job interview with a resume that is new and shows effort, it is a great first impression. Just like your personality, your resume matters. Similar to a business card when networking, it is essential. Revamp your CV to highlight your strengths and experience.

Showcase Your Improvement

If you have been able to take self-improvement courses or resume studies after jail, be sure to showcase this. Whether you share this information on your resume or in person, it is 100% the type of dedication recruiters like to see. If you were involved in training or work during your time in prison, be sure to include this too. How you use your time, is a showcase of your willingness to evolve. Many hiring managers and recruiters seek out candidates that demonstrate their desire to grow. This is just as much the case for those who have spent time behind bars as much as it is for those who have not.

When you go into a job opportunity, honest, prepared and ready, possibilities will come your way. Do not be limited by your past. You are setting forth on a new life and have the tools at the ready to create a bright future. The Los Angeles Urban League is here to support you every step of the way.